True Stories: A Collection of True Stories
Bullfighting on foot started in Spain in the 1700s, and spectators came from miles around to watch the matadors fight the bulls. If the bullfighter did well, the audience would award him the ears and the tail of the bull, and if he fought valiantly, he would receive the bull’s sweat. If the bull fought well, the audience would spare him and he would retire to a farm where he would be a stud for the rest of his life. The sweat of a pardoned bull was thought to confer virility and youth on those who possessed it, and eventually a clever entrepreneur capitalized on this and incorporated the sweat into a line of creams and lotions. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the origin of Oil of Olé (later changed to Olay). True story.
I don’t think they wear shoes in the house in China. They wear these special slippers made of rabbit skin. If they wear them fur side out, they slide, so they started wearing them fur side in, which keeps their feet warm and is also nonstick and easy to clean. All that’s left of the rabbit after this is the feet. Not many people have rabbits, because space is so limited in China. The people who do have rabbits are pretty lucky, and they want to show off, so they carry the rabbit’s feet around. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where the lucky rabbit’s foot originated. True story.
There once was a guy who did vague things all the time. He would do stuff, and things, and whatnot, and occasionally, when he was feeling feisty, he would do doomaflitchie. The people of the land had some feelings about this, and they said some words to the guy. He was kinda not good feeling after that, and he had something going on that caused him to do diddley squat. Well, one day something came around that place and made people feel things they didn’t want to feel. But surprisingly, the guy who they said things to before came and told that thing that he wasn’t sure what he would do if it didn’t stop. And it did. And the people rallied behind the guy with whatever he did, and shouted something he would never forget, something that made him feel a part of everything: “Vague Us! Vague Us!” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the town of Vague Us was formed, known today as Vegas. True story.
Back in the 1970s, Paul McCartney had a lot more money because he hadn’t lost lots of it in a messy divorce. And also, he had recorded a song that was kind of silly and odd. Well, after Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey came out and people went “huh? This guy was a Beatle?”, he decided to clear it up once and for all by making a masterpiece song. Inexplicably but unsurprisingly, he wrote it as a sort of follow-up, using some military ranking dudes and such, only instead of apologizing, he made it about a wedding, possibly to a plane – I’m not sure. It made absolutely no sense whatsoever. In any case, he released it in 1972 – or tried to, anyway. It had some difficulties being released as a single, and then was put on his album Band on the Run, and even then it was some time before it was heard by Americans across the pond, which is what they call the Atlantic Ocean sometimes for some reason. Since it took so much time, Americans were hearing it after Brits had already grown extremely confused by it, though they still danced to the music. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where the term “Jet lag” came from. True story.
There once was a man from Nantucket, who got tired of people making jokes about him, so he got a truck with an inflatable swimming pool in it and started peeing in it every day. Then he bought a SuperDrencher 6000, hooked it up to a car battery, put the supply hose in the pool, and drove around Nantucket shooting anyone he had ever heard or seen making jokes about him in any way, completely soaking them with urine. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where the term “pee-shooter” came from. True story.
In the 1800s, there was a tiny company that made mayonnaise in Mexico and shipped it to Florida. But one day, the boat was caught by pirates and riddled with cannon balls. However, a Mexican ship loaded with beer came along, and the crew of that ship shot all the pirates and saved all the workers. Unfortunately, the ship sank. All the workers from both ships celebrated their victory over the pirates. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the tradition started that Mexicans celebrated every year thereafter… Sinko de Mayo. True story.
Once there was a boy named Shootapenguin Abernathy-Piledriver. He was made fun of for his tendency to wear socks with sandals, even in winter. So one day, he bought a jar of pickles with his allowance, and then he ate them. Despite this attempt, the teasing continued. So he climbed into his freezer and turned into a snowman. But once he went outside, he melted, and the socks and sandals came off. Then everyone loved him, because he made the flowers grow. So he made a rose grow, and one of the people who had teased him, in fact the person who had teased him the most, brushed up against that rose and it scratched the shit out of him. That inspired the person to write a song in honor of the boy who he had teased, to try to make up for it. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Brett Michaels wrote Every Rose Has Its Thorn. True story.
In 250 B.C., an ancient Greek named Paracletes lived near the Aegean Sea. There had been, as long as he could remember, a deep straight river that flowed into the sea. One day, Paracletes wondered what was at the other end of this impossibly straight river, so he followed it. He battled through towns, swam through holes eroded in rock, and walked through dark caves, all the while keeping his goal in mind. Eventually he came to a waterfall that appeared to flow from between two rounded rocks. He climbed the rocks and was about to enter the passage when suddenly it moved. It was no pair of rounded rocks – it was a giant! Paracletes apologized profusely and returned to his home, but he renamed the impossibly straight river for its two endpoints. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where the term ‘Sea-Anal’ came from, shortened over the centuries to ‘Canal’. True story.
That apostrophe in ‘ma’am’ stands for more than you think. The full word is actually ‘mabambalam’, like in the song Black Betty. The full story appears in the song itself, especially if you’re drunk. True fact. Not quite a story, because, well, it’s so short.
A few words about a big hit single from the 1970s: I understand this band released their single in the U.K. first – it was called “Philosopher With No Name”. When they released it in America, they felt it would have more punch with the title “Sorcerer With No Name”, but because of poor reception the printer misheard the title. It was too late to change the album cover, but the band rerecorded the vocals to match the title. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how America released the song Horse With No Name. True story.
Once there was a man who had the gift of charisma, and he used it to flirt with the ladies. Not content with just the single ladies his own age, since they weren’t much of a challenge, he turned his talents to the wives of noblemen, dukes and knights. Eventually, he found himself in a position where he could lay with the queen herself. However, in a storm of guilty conscience, he found himself unable to perform. Whatever had happened before, such a tryst could result in his own offspring being the ruler of the land, and he couldn’t see himself bringing that upon the country. Oh, the responsibility! So he stopped. Unfortunately, the king caught him leaving the royal quarters and imprisoned him. He insisted that nothing had happened, but the king asked for proof. All they could do was wait. As the entire royal court waited for days, the morning finally came that the queen had menstruated, and the king released the man, ending his sentence. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where the term ‘period’ came from. True story.
There once was a dragon who got tired of terrorizing the land, so he looked for a full time job. He went to several interviews and job fairs, but people couldn’t seem to get past the fact that he had scared, burned and/or eaten a number of people. It was depressing to him that people couldn’t see him for what he really was, and had to attach labels to him. He was extremely depressed until one day, a mortician decided to hire him. The mortician couldn’t be hurt by the dragon for some reason, and since everyone else there was dead, the dragon was fine to work there. The dragon was so happy! He started immediately, digging graves for the bodies that were to be buried and incinerating the ones that were to be cremated. But one day, the mortician died, and the dragon grew very depressed once again. He had lost a friend and also his job. Per the instructions of the will, the dragon incinerated the mortician, starting with his head, but the dragon couldn’t finish. He was too torn up, and when he had gotten just above the ankles, he broke down entirely. He took the remains of the mortician and had them bronzed, and wore them as a necklace to remind him of his friend. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where the phrase ‘dragon your feet’ came from. True story.
When you’re making chili, what do you use? What has to be in chili for it to qualify as chili? I guess chili peppers, but what about tomatoes, or meat? Can you use any meat? I would think you could use squirrel meat in chili as long as you have pineapple. Squirrel without pineapple is like lobster without orange juice! Ridiculous, I know. Also, I always wonder why they put lemon and fish together. I think you squeeze it into the tea, but I don’t know what the lemon is for. Speaking of lemons, I used to wonder where pink lemonade came from, but one day I was making some from frozen concentrate and cut my finger on the lid, which dripped into the pitcher. Now I know. I’m still not sure how they get my blood into all those pink lemonade factories, though. True story.
I’m drawing a blank right now. ______________________________________ I hope you like it. I worked on it all afternoon, and I studied at the finest universities in order to produce the shape and line and texture of this blank. I will add it to the rest of the blanks that I have drawn over the last year, and make it into a whole collection. It won’t be the first time I’ve done this. The last time I gathered all the blanks and took pictures of them. They won many awards and appeared in the paper numerous times in your city. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the origin of the phrase ‘shooting blanks.’ True story.
MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice both starred in the Moldavan version of Brokeback Mountain. I was the publicity photographer on that film, and that’s how I met Lena from Infected Rain. After she fell madly in love with me and let me snap the pic of her in the suspenders, she told me that the name of her band was inspired by the Tay Zonday song Chocolate Rain. True story.